the boys

the boys

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eating, Drinking, and Being Pretty Darn Merry!

So, I've been thinking all week about what kind of blog to write about my fabulous trip abroad.  What to share?  What to share?  What NOT to share (wink, wink)?
I guess I will go boring and do a top 10 list.  So here it is....excluding our Kosovo experiences since I already blogged about those:

10. Spending way more time at the awesome shopping mall on the bottom floor of the Louvre than we did looking at actual art.  I think we only pulled ourselves away from the stores out of sheer obligation to see the Mona Lisa.  You can't go to the Louvre and not see her.  But don't worry.  We shopped some more before we left :) 

9. Drinks at Experimental Cocktail Club that were super yummy.  It was located in our favorite shopping area and we tried 5 times over 2 days before it was actually open.  But no big deal really.  We spent so much time in this area.  It had cafes, cheese shops, pastry shops, wine stores, chocolate stores, high end clothing, consignment clothing, pubs, etc, etc.  We could have stayed right there for an entire week and never gotten bored. 

8.  Notre Dame- simply amazingly beautiful church.  We tried twice to get up early enough to attend a morning Mass but both mornings we slept in from the exhaustion of being a tourist. 

7.  Stick thin/bleach blond haired French waitress at the Cha Cha Lounge that screwed up our dessert order three times and I totally got the giggles when she kept bringing me the same one and I kept telling her I wanted the chocolate cake.  Below is a pic of Allison testing out my drink.

6.  the Eiffel Tower.  Really amazing just to see it in person and go up to the top.  My parents went almost 30 years ago so really cool to see it for myself.  We waited in some really long lines.  I was shocked at how many people were there on a random Thursday in October.  Can't imagine the lines in June! 

5.  Dessert sampler at a little cafe/bar place in Paris that we went to twice...yes, we went back just for the desserts one last time before we left!  We were starving the first  night we got there and Allison had scoped out a hot new place but it was booked through the end of October so we wandered the streets of Paris aimlessly at about 10 pm and finally stumbled upon the perfect shopping area I already mentioned.  Most places were already closed but this place was still serving.  After dinner we opted for a little dessert sampler and we were pleasantly surprised to say the least!!  The chocolate lava cake was SOOOO good.  I got the full sized one the last  night.  No need for sample size here!  I love these two pictures of the before and after.

4.  Wicked!  By sheer luck on our very first night in London we came upon the Broadway musical just 3 minutes before the curtain dropped.  And we got rock star seats that must have been saved for some VIP's that didn't show.  Loved every minute of it.  Acting and singing were awesome.  People watching during intermission was also worth the price of the seats!

3. Getting dressed up all fancy-dancy for our night on the town in Paris.  We started with drinks at the Ritz Carlton at the famous Hemingway's Bar.  Uber rich and fancy. We sat at the bar with a really fun and engaging bartender.  We had one drink a piece and paid way more than I would ever pay for a full meal here in good ol' USA :)  I begged Allison to let me take a picture but she wouldn't let me.  I was able to sneak a quick pick of a beautiful flower arrangement in one of the many sitting areas on the way through the enormous lobby area. 

2.  Harrods in London.  It was one of those experiences where you walk in and just fall in love.  It's super high end for the most part (Prada, Gucci, and Chanel....OH MY!) but one one of the main floors was several rooms of fresh food including cases and cases of cheese, shelves of spices/oils/coffees, etc, a whole room for chocolate, and then the seafood room.  We had the most delicious lunch in the seafood room.  Ahhhh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I could have stayed there for 3 days straight.  I would have to take out a 2nd and 3rd mortgage out on our  house but it would have been fun for the time being!!

1. Little Palace Hotel.  Our initial joy that it was on the same block as our metro station was quickly enhanced by the absolute adorableness of the whole place.  When we made it to our room and realized we actually have an awesome view from our penthouse suite (ok, it wasn't a penthouse was just a tiny but adorable room on the top floor with a double window that opened!) I literally squealed with delight that we could see the Eiffel Tower from our room.  Kudos to Allison for finding this perfect little area of Paris!

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED every minute of my trip.....except the trip home.  An obvious blog choice would be to document the disaster that was my trip home.  I really hate to give it too much attention.  It was the only downside to my trip.  On the other hand, it is worth mentioning so this is as short as I can make it:

20 minute walk to Underground; 1 hour subway ride to the airport; 2 hour wait to board plane; 8 hours ride to Newark; got diverted to Maine; sat on tarmac in Maine for 2 hours and not allowed to get off the plane; 90 more minutes to fly to Newark; circled above Newark for a few minutes; another hour on the tarmac waiting for a gate to open; 30 minutes through customs; 30 minutes for my bag; 3 hour wait in line to rebook my flight to Kansas City (11:45 pm by this time!); 45 minutes in line for a taxi; shared a taxi with 2 women that didn't speak English; dropped them off at a hotel that didn't have electricity; drove to Lisa's (college roommate) house in a cab; barely avoiding downed power lines and tree limbs; arrived at 1:15 am; talked for 45 minutes ands slept for 2 1/2 hours; took a town car back to the airport at 5 am; got caught in a huge traffic jam but finally arrived back at Newark; 1 hour in line to find out my flight is cancelled and they can't get me home until Monday night (this was Sunday morning); break down in tears and beg for a flight anywhere close to Kansas City; get on 8 am flight for St. Louis; St. Louis flight cancelled; wait in line for 1 more hour to get put on standby for Kansas City; mini tram to a new terminal; wait in line for 10 minutes to get an actual seat on the 2 pm flight to Kansas City; wait in another line for 1 hour to get bag routed to Kansas City instead of St. Louis (even though that didn't actually happen!); 3 more hours waiting in the airport for my flight and FINALLY success!  Home sweet home just a mere 36 hours after my trip began.

Wow, that took longer to write than I expected.  What a friggin' nightmare end to my trip.  My memory is already fading of those miserable 36 hours.  I decide to only remember the good times from now on.....I guess if I ever want to recall that day and a half from hell I can read my own blog :)

All in all a great time.  Where to next????

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